The effects of legumes on metabolic features, insulin resistance and hepatic function tests in women with central obesity: a randomized controlled trial

Mohammad Alizadeh, Rasool Gharaaghaji, Bahram Pourghassem Gargari


Background: The effect of high‑legume hypocaloric diet on metabolic features in women is unclear. This study provided an opportunity to find effects of high‑legume diet on metabolic features in women who consumed high legumes at pre‑study period.

Methods: In this randomized controlled trial after 2 weeks of a run‑in period on an isocaloric diet, 42 premenopausal women with central obesity were randomly assigned into two groups: (1) Hypocaloric diet enriched in legumes (HDEL) and (2) hypocaloric diet without legumes (HDWL) for 6 weeks. The following variables were assessed before intervention and 3 and 6 weeks after its beginning: Waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), fasting serum concentrations of triglyceride (TG), high density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting blood sugar (FBS), insulin, homeostasis model of insulin resistance (HOMA‑IR), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). We used multifactor model of nested multivariate analysis of variance repeated measurements and t‑test for statistical analysis.

Results: HDEL and HDWL significantly reduced the WC. HDEL significantly reduced the SBP and TG. Both HDEL and HDWL significantly increased fasting concentration of insulin and HOMA‑IR after 3 weeks, but their significant effects on insulin disappeared after 6 weeks and HDEL returned HOMA‑IR to basal levels in the subsequent 3 weeks. In HDEL group percent of decrease in AST and ALT between 3rd and 6th weeks was significant. In HDWL group percent of increase in SBP, DBP, FBS and TG between 3rd and 6th weeks was significant.

Conclusions: The study indicated beneficial effects of hypocaloric legumes on metabolic features.

Keywords: Central obesity, hypocaloric diet, legumes, metabolic syndrome, premenopausal women

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